By V.A. Gopala
?The country needs to play an authoritative role on the eligibility of foreign-born naturalised citizens who wish to hold constitutional offices like President, Prime Minister and Member of Parliament,? opined experts of the Rashtrotthana Research and Communication Centre (RRCC), a Bangalore-based policy group.
The RRCC experts emphasised that an authoritative constitutional position is needed to tie any party or individual.
They also pointed out that the Citizenship Act came into existence only in 1955, or five years after the Indian Constitution was adopted. ?This shows that the founding fathers of the Constitution, like Dr Ambedkar assumed that Indian citizens would be native-born and did not anticipate the day when foreign-born nationals would stake claim to the highest office in the land,? they said.
RRCC experts also pointed to a historical precedent when Jawaharlal Nehru as Prime Minister did not allow Richard Holkar, born to an American woman and the Indian king, to inherit the Indore throne. ?This shows that Indian leaders were opposed to foreign-born persons holding high offices in both letter and spirit,? they said.